Fall is here, which may mean new routines and different health and safety concerns.
Fall means cooler weather, shorter days, the start of cold and flu season and a return to school for kids. With less hours of daylight, many of us may get less physical activity. We may also spend more time snacking in front of the television or eating bigger meals as the festive season gets underway. The beginning of fall also signals the start of cold and flu season. Our children are back in school or daycare, which can mean new activities and greater exposure to germs.
Learn how to stay safe, eat well and take care of your health as the season changes.
Back to School
For information about how to help your child stay safe and learn healthy lifestyle habits this school year, visit our Back To School health feature.
Find resources for K-12 Schools about preventing the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19, for students and parents, school staff and school administrators.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a coronavirus. COVID-19 has spread worldwide, including to British Columbia, and has been declared a global pandemic. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold.
To learn more about coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including how to reduce your risk of infection, what to do if you think you have coronavirus disease, and to access coronavirus disease-related resources, see our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) health feature. For additional information on coronavirus disease, visit BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19.
Learn what you can do to make sure you stay safe as the temperature drops.
- Cold Exposure: Ways the Body Loses Heat
- Cold Temperature Exposure
- Dry Skin and Itching
- Hypothermia and Cold Temperature Exposure
The flu is an infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza virus. Each year, there is a time where there are more outbreaks of the flu. This is called flu season. For more information about the flu and flu season, visit our Influenza (Flu) Season health feature.
Spending more time indoors and at home might make you open that refrigerator more often. Get tips on how to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle this fall.
- Healthy Eating During COVID-19
- Healthy Eating Guidelines For Lower Sodium (Salt) Eating
- Heart Healthy Tips for Celebrations
- Healthy Snacks for Adults (HealthLinkBC File #68i)
- Meal and Snack Ideas for Your 1 to 3 Year Old Child (HealthLinkBC File #69e)
- Lighten Up Your Holiday Recipes
For additional healthy eating information or advice call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian or Email a HealthLinkBC Dietitian.
Indoor Air Quality
With shorter daylight hours and colder outdoor temperatures, you will likely be spending more time indoors. Learn about indoor air quality and how to stay safe.
- Indoor Air Quality (HealthLinkBC File #65a)
- Indoor Air Quality: Mould and Other Biological Contaminants (HealthLinkBC File #65b)
- Indoor Air Quality: Combustion By-products (HealthLinkBC File #65c)
- Indoor Air Quality: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (HealthLinkBC File #65d)
Make sure to test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly, and replace the batteries every 6 months. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when you set the clock back (in the fall) or forward (in the spring).
Changes in routine, staying indoors more and getting less exercise can affect your mental health. Shorter days, especially when we set the clocks back for daylight saving time, mean getting less sunshine.
- Mental Health
- Mental Health and COVID-19
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder: Using Light Therapy
Pollen, molds, dust mites and other allergens can cause fall seasonal allergies. Learn about seasonal allergies, including triggers, symptoms and home treatment.
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Allergies: Avoiding Outdoor Triggers
- Allergies: Should I take Allergy Shots?
- Hay Fever and Other Seasonal Allergies
- Over-the-Counter Medicines for Allergies
- Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis)
Don’t let the dark and cold nights keep you from staying active. Physical activity is a key factor in keeping you and your family healthy.
- Fitness: Adding More Activity to Your Life
- Physical Activity During COVID-19
- Quick Tips: Getting Active as a Family
- Quick Tips: Getting Active at Home
- Quick Tips: Staying Active in Cold Weather
For more physical activity information or advice you can also call 8-1-1 to speak with a qualified exercise professional or Email Physical Activity Services.
When to Take Antibiotics
Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and can treat infections such as strep throat or sinus infections. They do not work against illnesses caused by a virus such as the common cold, coronavirus (COVID-19) or the flu. Learn more about when you should and shouldn’t use antibiotics.
- Bronchitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Ear Infection: Should I Give My Child Antibiotics?
- Sinusitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Sore Throat: Should I Take Antibiotics?
- Using Antibiotics Wisely
For more information about using antibiotics, visit BC Centre for Disease Control – Do Bugs Needs Drugs?
ImmunizeBC works to improve the health of British Columbians and reduce the number of infections by vaccine-preventable diseases by providing information on immunizations to individuals, families and health care providers. They also provide tools to make it easier for B.C. families to get immunized.
Last Updated: September 2021